According to 9to5Google and a source they trust, Google is working on a new Nest Hub for 2022, but not just any Nest Hub – a detachable one. Wait, what? Yup, one that apparently has a screen that detaches from the base so that it can be carried around the house and used from the comfort of your couch.
ChromeOS has become incredibly popular, and now there are even chromeOS tablet-style devices, but something I noticed recently was that after my son accidentally dropped my Nest Hub, I was hesitant to buy another. The reason why is that my Lenovo Chromebook Duet already does everything I used the Hub for – I can control my smart home devices with the Google Home app, check in on my Nest camera, listen to YouTube Music, watch YouTube videos, Netflix, and more.
The only difference is that with my Chromebook, I can do a whole lot more, including browsing the web with a more full and complete Chrome experience. With that in mind, I think that’s where the next Nest Hub may be headed. It’s already advanced so much by adding an app drawer, new functionality, interface design, and more, but unlike a Chromebook, it has a very focused UI, which could make a detachable version of the Hub ideal for lounging around the house and handling things or picking it up off of the coffee table to perform simple tasks.
According to 9to5Google, the screen portion of this new Hub will detach from the base and speaker part, providing you with a more accessible experience. My guess is that it will also have built-in speakers on the tablet hardware and re-route sound to the more powerful base (likely similar to what the current Hub has behind the cloth mesh) when attached.
I don’t imagine that this 2022 detachable Nest Hub will run chromeOS. Instead, I believe it will make the most sense to stick with the current operating system of the Hub – Cast OS or Fuchsia, whichever one your device has. These should be sufficient for the aforementioned simple tasks, and this detachable mechanic shouldn’t train your mind that the Hub should replace an Android or chromeOS tablet. Instead, it should be used as a convenience factor for the tasks that the Hub already performs, with the interface it already has.
It’s possible that this along with the recent chromeOS-like improvements that came with Android 12L could signal the further unification of all of Google’s devices, making them all look and work more like Chromebooks do, with smaller tweaks and accommodations to each depending on their purpose and power.
At this time, there are no other details about this new device, and pricing is also a mystery, but with the Hub Max sitting at $299 and the standard-sized display running you $99, I’m going to guess that a detachable would cost $199, placing it right in between Google’s two current offerings. Let us know in the comments what you think of such a device, and whether or not you’d use it around the house in place of it being stationary on a countertop.